Chapter 2: Bottles, Cigars, and Nightclubs:
Sarah didn't say anything. She just stared at Mary Jane, dumbfounded at what she had just heard.
"You never wanted to be here in the first place? You do know that our mission frowns upon lying-"
"It's not a lie, Sister Sarah," Mary Jane sighed,
"The only reason that I'm here is because my parents knew Brother Arvide and he said that he could find me a spot and-"
Mary Jane threw her hands up in frustration.
"-here we are."
"But why? Oh, the mission is such a wonderful place. And besides your choice to join us will serve you well at the gates of heaven. Why would you ever want to quit?"
"It's because-Well, it's so boring and structured. You know how it is every day. We wake up early in the morning and patrol the streets until early afternoon. Then we have Bible studies for an hour and next is a late lunch. Then we patrol the streets some more until eight at night and by then, we're all too tired to eat supper, even though it's all laid out for us. I just can't stand it!
"I wanna be where the people are. I wanna see-"
"-You wanna see them dancin'?"
"Exactly, but those lyrics don't come out for another thirty years. You're lucky, Sarah. You're married to someone of the nightlife."
"Sky? No, I'm getting him to repent little by little each day."
"Maybe so, but you still can get into a nightclub without being badgered. I try to go into a nightclub, and five seconds later, I get booted out for being a 'stiff.'"
"Oh, I'm sure that's not true," Sarah smiled as she shook her head.
"Believe me. It is. I want to be out in the nightlife, going to see shows on Broadway, maybe even be in one-"
Mary Jane looked around to make sure that they were alone. She beckoned to Sarah to lean in.
"I've even wanted to try drinking and smoking."
Sarah gasped and pulled back.
"But why would you want to? There's nothing in those bottle, cigars, and nightclubs; nothing, but pure evil."
"What about The Lord?"
"Nonsense. He is pure and good."
"Has an angel ever been completely pure?"
"Well no, but-"
"Has everything He has sent us been good and pure?"
"Maybe not everything, but still-" she faltered.
"Tell me this, Miss Sarah. Have you ever considered that, if everyone is evil, then no one is? And likewise, if everyone and everything was good and pure, wouldn't it all not be? Have you ever considered that, in order to have pure angels, there must be one that isn't completely pure?"
Mary Jane folded her arms and grinned in triumph as the silence hung in the air.
"I-I guess I never thought of it that way," Sarah exclaimed,
"But that's why we're here. We're His pure angels and we must act in such a manner."
Mary Jane hung her head in disappointment. She thought that she had finally found something that stumped the Sergeant.
"I can see where you might've gotten that idea, but don't let it bother you. Besides you haven't been here but a month or two. You'll fully come around in due time."
Mary felt a hand slip under her chin and gently nudge it upward.
"Keep your chin up, sweetie. You're never going to be able to act properly in the name of The Lord if your head is down in shame. And how about a little smile? Please? One for Sister Sarah?" she pleaded sympathetically.
Trying to block out the disappointment, Mary managed to lift the corners of her mouth slightly.
"There's the angel that I know," Sarah smiled,
"Now, shall we be off to Bible studies?"
The two got up and headed into the back room. And the more Mary studied the Bible, the more she smiled. But it was for a different reason than to keep Sarah pleased. No, Mary had a plan. And it came from a very recent memory:
It's the day of the double wedding. The couples exchange their vows and they prepare to leave for their honeymoons. Before they do, the brides turn around and throw the bouquets over their heads. Every girl scrambles for it. One bouquet ends up in the possession of General Cartwright, the head of the missionary. And the other soars higher and higher into the sky. The girls go into a madhouse to catch it. The bouquet begins to descend and the girls are in a frenzy. Hearts beating wildly, the bouquet falls...
...Into the hands of Miss Mary Jane.
She grinned triumphantly as she opened up to the next page of verses. For catching a bouquet meant one thing. Mary Jane was going to be the next to get married. And, unlike the kind of man that Sarah had intended to end up with, she wanted her husband to be a complete gambler.